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Tracker scandal: Repayments by Christmas as Donohoe bemoans 'cultural issue' with banks

The CEOs of Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC held talks with the Minister for Finance today.

Paschal Donohoe will meet with the CEOs of AIB and Ulster Bank later this week.
Paschal Donohoe will meet with the CEOs of AIB and Ulster Bank later this week.
Image: Sam Boal/

Updated 10.06pm

THE GOVERNOR OF the Central Bank has said that the “vast majority” of customers affected by the tracker mortgage scandal will be repaid what they’re owed by Christmas.

Speaking today, Philip Lane said that the Central Bank would continue to press the banks to ensure that all of those affected by the scandal are included in redress schemes.

The CEOs of Bank of Ireland and KBC were at the Department of Finance today, for meetings with Minister Paschal Donohoe.

A spokesperson for the Minister said that “the banks have been dragging their feet in solving the problem, at real human cost”.

The Minister for Finance also met with Lane, and the pair discussed the ongoing Central Bank investigation into the scandal.

They added: “This has been the largest and most complex prudential investigation ever undertaken in Ireland involving around 2 million mortgage accounts going back many years across 15 lenders, many of whom are no longer even operating in the Irish market.

He [Donohoe] finds it very disappointing that despite the significant management and board changes that have taken place since the onset of the financial crisis that there still seems to be a cultural issue with some of the banks.

Donohoe will not make any further statement until he had met with all the banks, with meetings with AIB and Ulster Bank remaining, the spokesperson added.

In recent months, it has emerged that thousands of customers were overcharged by banks on their interest rates, which resulted in some losing their homes.

Last week, members of an Oireachtas Committee accused the Central Bank of failing customers over the scandal but, today, Governor Lane said that it was working to ensure all those affected are compensated as quickly as possible.

23/10/2017 Bankers Called To Minister For Finance over Tracker Mortgage Controversies Central Bank Governor Philip Lane outside the Department of Finance today. Source: Leah Farrell/

He said: “The current situation is 13,000 cases. Already €160m has been paid out. We think the vast majority of cases will be paid out before Christmas.

However, we continue to press the banks to expand their coverage to make sure all of those affected are included in their scheme.  The current focus of our work is to make sure beyond those 13,000, those are in progress, is to make sure more are included… that all of those affected will receive redress and compensation from the banks.

The CEOs of both BOI and KBC said today that the banks would issue a statement on the matter in the coming week.

It is understood that Minister Donohoe was keen to get a timeline from the above banks, and Permanent TSB, on when customers would be repaid in today’s meetings.

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A tracker mortgage offers a fixed rate added onto the European Central Bank’s moving interest rate. This product functioned well until the bank crash in 2008 and many customers arranged to move off a tracker and onto either a fixed or variable rate for a period of time.

Now it has emerged that when a large number of these customers tried to switch back to their tracker – something they were fully entitled to do - their banks told them they could not. Thousands of other customers who did actually have a tracker mortgage were charged a higher rate of interest than they should have been paying.

Opposition parties called on the government to exert “maximum pressure” on the banks to pay back what’s owed today.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said: “Let’s be clear, this isn’t hugely complex for the banks. They know who these customers are and it’s not beyond them to have this issue dealt with relatively quickly.

Minister Donohoe should use all powers at his disposal to exert maximum pressure on the banks to repay all moneys owed as soon as possible.

Solidarity-PBPs Paul Murphy said that a criminal investigation “should be launched immediately” into the scandal while Labour’s Joan Burton called for “full transparency” from the banks.

If you have been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal, we want to hear your story. Get in touch by sending a message to

With reporting from Michelle Hennessy

Read: From ‘I don’t know what a tracker mortgage is’ to the biggest financial scandal of our time

Read: ‘A dog who won’t bark, never mind bite’: Central Bank in the firing line over tracker scandal

About the author:

Sean Murray

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